Your neighborhood Apple store may soon be showing off smart home tech

Titans such as Google and Amazon have both shown a strong commitment to building the smart home. Apple, while late to the party, joined in with its first device, HomePod, announced in June. Stylish, more expensive than its competitors and powered by Siri, the HomePod signifies that the HomeKit on iOS isn’t just an afterthought. But with smart home applications and hardware being slow to gain widespread adoption, Apple aims to lead the way by turning its stores into experience centers.

The stores included in this new rollout include 31 locations in the U.S. alone. TechCrunch was first to report that the Union Square Apple store along with the stores in the World Trade Center and Williamsburg in New York will all get the upgrade. Overseas, Apple stores in major locations such as Singapore, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Germany and Mexico will also be offering shoppers a sneak peek at what it is like to live in an Apple-controlled home.

Instead of developing a range of exclusive hardware—something Apple is known for—the company is leaving it to third-party companies to make compatible devices. The current lineup is already expansive. In the Apple Store, one can find digital thermostats, door locks, a huge assortment of light bulbs and electric socket converters. All of this comes together on the HomeKit, a secure suite of tools for developers on iOS made specifically for smart home applications.

By applying smart home technologies to the store, some retail magic might rub off on the range of products. Recall that the Apple stores are actually record-breaking, having the highest sales per square foot of space. And for continued success, the brand has also stepped away from using the word “store,” preferring instead the syntax of Apple + [location] (e.g. Apple Union Square). While it’s hard to say what this means for smart home sales, it’s enticing to know you can try it out just by stepping into the nearest white box.

Apple


Lead Image: Anthony Quintano | CC | Image resized

Titans such as Google and Amazon have both shown a strong commitment to building the smart home. Apple, while late to the party, joined in with its first device, HomePod, announced in June. Stylish, more expensive than its competitors and powered by Siri, the HomePod signifies that the HomeKit on iOS isn’t just an afterthought. But with smart home applications and hardware being slow to gain widespread adoption, Apple aims to lead the way by turning its stores into experience centers.

The stores included in this new rollout include 31 locations in the U.S. alone. TechCrunch was first to report that the Union Square Apple store along with the stores in the World Trade Center and Williamsburg in New York will all get the upgrade. Overseas, Apple stores in major locations such as Singapore, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Germany and Mexico will also be offering shoppers a sneak peek at what it is like to live in an Apple-controlled home.